As I meditated on today’s first reading, I was reminded of King Solomon’s prayers. When faced with the task of leading the Israelites, Solomon prayed to God for an understanding mind to govern His people, able to discern between good and evil. I believe that Divine Wisdom is one of the most precious gifts we can receive from God. But how can we understand divine wisdom not just as a concept but as a reality we can live by?
According to the verses in today’s first reading, Divine Wisdom invites us to seek God with sincerity of heart. Divine wisdom is presented as a companion that walks with us on earth, searching for hearts that listen. For us Christians today, this companionship is an invitation to practice mindfulness in our daily routine, to perceive the sacred in the mundane. The sincere search for God becomes an antidote to perverse thoughts that seek to sever our daily connection with God. Purity of heart becomes the clear pane through which the light of wisdom shines. We can recall here the words of the beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). And I would add: “For they shall see God even in a world broken by wickedness, hatred, and sin.”
Today’s First Reading Invites Us to Develop a Discerning Heart
When faced with myriad choices, it can be challenging to make the right decision. The discerning heart is pure and humble; it becomes the vessel through which divine wisdom flows, enlightening dark corners of ignorance and soothing the frictions of daily strife.
Embracing this wisdom has to be a deliberate choice, a conscious turning away from deceptive allurements and perverse thoughts. It is in this turning, this repentant movement toward God’s truth, that wisdom finds a home in us. It calls for a life where love and justice are not abstract ideals but tangible actions.
Divine Wisdom is thus a Transformative Force
It is the soft but potent power that molds our character and carves out a life of integrity and purpose. A life that embraces divine wisdom is a life lived in harmony with God’s design that the enemy had tried to destroy from the beginning.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus presents a poignant message on the essence of Christian living.
He Emphasizes the Love of Righteousness
He does this through a stark warning against being a source of scandal, causing the downfall of others, especially the little ones, and innocent souls. It is a reminder that our deeds ripple through the pond of humanity, impacting lives beyond our immediate sight. To love righteousness is to be acutely aware that we hold the power to either uplift or undermine the spiritual journey of our neighbor. We are called to be custodians of our brothers’ and sisters’ spiritual well-being; it is a duty to uphold and not undermine their journey of faith.
Jesus Equally Articulates the Crucial Command of Fraternal Correction
This can be sometimes difficult to do. However, it is important to see fraternal correction as an act of courage and compassion to address wrongdoing, a sacred duty that reflects God’s corrective love for us. However, this correction is not a pedestal from which to judge others, but a bridge built on humility and concern for the other’s redemption. It is for this reason that we need to learn often to remove the plank in our eyes to be able to efficiently remove the sawdust in our brother’s or sister’s eyes (Matthew 7:3).
At the heart of Jesus’ message is a call to repentance, a turning back to God that is always met with open arms. The readiness to repent is the hallmark of a spirit attuned to the rhythms of Divine Grace. It is the understanding that we are works in progress, continually called back to the heart of divine love. God is never tired of forgiving us; it is rather we who are sometimes tired of asking for forgiveness.
Moreover, to better understand and experience God’s forgiveness, we also need to practice it towards others. To forgive is to mirror the inexhaustible mercy of God. Jesus challenges us with a forgiveness that is not measured but lavish and faith filled. It is in the seemingly impossible act of forgiveness that the disciple discovers the power of faith, small as a mustard seed, yet capable of uprooting the deepest bitterness and bringing healing to souls deeply wounded.
May God help us to seek this Wisdom with a sincere and humble heart!